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A plate set in the morning sunlight, filled with three waffles, two sunny side up eggs, and a pile of bacon.
Waffles, bacon, and eggs from the Joint.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

9 Essential Breakfast Spots Around Boston

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Waffles, bacon, and eggs from the Joint.
| Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Put away that sad, burnt toast and lukewarm coffee: The restaurants on this list take the first meal of the day very seriously. Fluffy pancakes, crisp waffles, buttery grits, and pillowy egg yolk buns abound in and around Boston. While some of these spots also do weekend brunch, these 9 restaurants were chosen with weekday breakfast in mind — the doors open early, service is prompt, and the hearty breakfast fare is top-notch.

Looking for a leisurely weekend brunch spot instead? Check out some top options in and around Boston here. Only eat breakfast sandwiches in the morning? Head right this way.

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Sofra Bakery & Cafe

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The daytime sibling to citywide Mediterranean favorites Oleana and Sarma, Sofra is the place to go for sweet and savory Lebanese, Turkish, and Greek fare just after sunrise. The shakshuka is excellent, as is the Turkish-style breakfast with soft-boiled egg, feta, and veggies, and the asure, a flavorful pudding made with chickpeas, milk, rose water, and apple butter. And yes, the correct move is ordering one of every breakfast pastry to go.

Flour Bakery + Cafe

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Flour is a breakfast mainstay around Boston. This Central Square spot is one of ten locations where they are churning out consistently good egg sandwiches and a standout baked French toast made with focaccia, dusted in powdered sugar, and drizzled in maple syrup. Or, assemble an entire breakfast at the pastry case. Start at the stacks of ham and cheese croissants, and don’t miss the homemade pop-tarts.

A sandwich stuffed with egg, tomato, and arugula sitting on a white plate near a windowsill.
Flour’s breakfast sandwich.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant

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From the sausage rolls to the molten egg yolk buns, Great Taste knows how to produce an unbeatable breakfast spread. It’s hard to go wrong on the menu, but be sure to nab the fried turnip cakes, custard rolls, and any of the sweet or savory buns.

Café Sauvage

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Parisian bistro Café Sauvage has been open in Back Bay for just over a year and, on the weekends, it's an extremely tough table to get at brunch time. Opt instead for a weekday breakfast, and dig into croque madames, crepes, and omelettes with either coffee or cocktails depending on how the day ahead is looking.

Two slices of toasted bread with ham and cheese in the middle and a sunny side up egg on top. A small salad of lettuces is on the side of the plate.
The croque madame at Café Sauvage.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

The Friendly Toast

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The Friendly Toast is a reliably weird and wonderful place to hang out for breakfast. The restaurant originated in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and has since brought its scrambled egg rolls, hash brown bowls, and doughnut breakfast sandwiches to six locations in Massachusetts, including this nearly eight-year-old Back Bay spot.

Milkweed

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Like other spots on this list, Milkweed is typically overrun during weekend brunch hours, but diners will find a much more relaxed atmosphere during the weekday breakfast window. Take advantage of the relative quiet to linger over shakshuka, steak and cheese egg scrambles, and dutch baby pancakes topped with blueberry compote and strawberries. The restaurant’s grilled “love muffins,” topped with a generous scoop of butter, may taste more like dessert than breakfast, but an order isn’t complete without one.

A chocolate muffin sliced in half with butter melting on top.
That gorgeous grilled muffin. The flavors change frequently; here, it’s chocolate.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Southern-inflected breakfast spot Soleil in Roxbury is a must-stop for salmon cakes served with a creamy, unfortunately-not-bottomless remoulade, crispy smashed potatoes, buttery grits, and more, all orchestrated by acclaimed Boston chef Cheryl Straughter.

A plate of breakfast food sits on a red serving tray with a cup of light pink remoulade to spread on the salmon cakes.
Scrambled eggs, salmon cakes, potatoes and toast from Soleil.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

The Joint

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There’s nothing totally unexpected about the breakfast menu at the Joint — pancakes, waffles, huevos rancheros — but the restaurant shines in the execution. Sure, it’s pancakes, but these are fluffy, buttermilk beauties with just a touch of crispiness around the edges. The fist-sized, golden brown Belgian waffles, served alone or topped with fried chicken, are a crowd-pleaser too.

A blue plate filled with waffles, bacon, two eggs, and a side cup of syrup.
Waffles, bacon, and sunny-side-up eggs at the Joint.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

McKenna's Cafe

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McKenna’s Cafe is a decades-old Dorchester institution that knows its way around a solid breakfast. Diners are spoiled for choice here, from the Irish breakfast with black and white pudding to the breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, and 15 — yes, 15 — different types of omelets.

Sofra Bakery & Cafe

The daytime sibling to citywide Mediterranean favorites Oleana and Sarma, Sofra is the place to go for sweet and savory Lebanese, Turkish, and Greek fare just after sunrise. The shakshuka is excellent, as is the Turkish-style breakfast with soft-boiled egg, feta, and veggies, and the asure, a flavorful pudding made with chickpeas, milk, rose water, and apple butter. And yes, the correct move is ordering one of every breakfast pastry to go.

Flour Bakery + Cafe

Flour is a breakfast mainstay around Boston. This Central Square spot is one of ten locations where they are churning out consistently good egg sandwiches and a standout baked French toast made with focaccia, dusted in powdered sugar, and drizzled in maple syrup. Or, assemble an entire breakfast at the pastry case. Start at the stacks of ham and cheese croissants, and don’t miss the homemade pop-tarts.

A sandwich stuffed with egg, tomato, and arugula sitting on a white plate near a windowsill.
Flour’s breakfast sandwich.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Great Taste Bakery & Restaurant

From the sausage rolls to the molten egg yolk buns, Great Taste knows how to produce an unbeatable breakfast spread. It’s hard to go wrong on the menu, but be sure to nab the fried turnip cakes, custard rolls, and any of the sweet or savory buns.

Café Sauvage

Parisian bistro Café Sauvage has been open in Back Bay for just over a year and, on the weekends, it's an extremely tough table to get at brunch time. Opt instead for a weekday breakfast, and dig into croque madames, crepes, and omelettes with either coffee or cocktails depending on how the day ahead is looking.

Two slices of toasted bread with ham and cheese in the middle and a sunny side up egg on top. A small salad of lettuces is on the side of the plate.
The croque madame at Café Sauvage.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

The Friendly Toast

The Friendly Toast is a reliably weird and wonderful place to hang out for breakfast. The restaurant originated in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and has since brought its scrambled egg rolls, hash brown bowls, and doughnut breakfast sandwiches to six locations in Massachusetts, including this nearly eight-year-old Back Bay spot.

Milkweed

Like other spots on this list, Milkweed is typically overrun during weekend brunch hours, but diners will find a much more relaxed atmosphere during the weekday breakfast window. Take advantage of the relative quiet to linger over shakshuka, steak and cheese egg scrambles, and dutch baby pancakes topped with blueberry compote and strawberries. The restaurant’s grilled “love muffins,” topped with a generous scoop of butter, may taste more like dessert than breakfast, but an order isn’t complete without one.

A chocolate muffin sliced in half with butter melting on top.
That gorgeous grilled muffin. The flavors change frequently; here, it’s chocolate.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Soleil

Southern-inflected breakfast spot Soleil in Roxbury is a must-stop for salmon cakes served with a creamy, unfortunately-not-bottomless remoulade, crispy smashed potatoes, buttery grits, and more, all orchestrated by acclaimed Boston chef Cheryl Straughter.

A plate of breakfast food sits on a red serving tray with a cup of light pink remoulade to spread on the salmon cakes.
Scrambled eggs, salmon cakes, potatoes and toast from Soleil.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

The Joint

There’s nothing totally unexpected about the breakfast menu at the Joint — pancakes, waffles, huevos rancheros — but the restaurant shines in the execution. Sure, it’s pancakes, but these are fluffy, buttermilk beauties with just a touch of crispiness around the edges. The fist-sized, golden brown Belgian waffles, served alone or topped with fried chicken, are a crowd-pleaser too.

A blue plate filled with waffles, bacon, two eggs, and a side cup of syrup.
Waffles, bacon, and sunny-side-up eggs at the Joint.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

McKenna's Cafe

McKenna’s Cafe is a decades-old Dorchester institution that knows its way around a solid breakfast. Diners are spoiled for choice here, from the Irish breakfast with black and white pudding to the breakfast burritos, egg sandwiches, and 15 — yes, 15 — different types of omelets.

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